Desıgns, Shaped By Heart and Fire

Desıgns, Shaped By Heart and Fire

In November 2018, We Studio (Without Equal), a silver jewelry design studio, was founded on the initiative of three close friends.

İpek Üçbaşaran, Banu Kösoğlu, and İsmet Üçbaşaran, who carry the unity in their private lives to the business life, are designing silver necklaces, bracelets, rings, anklets, ring bracelets, earrings and cuff links in We Studio. The most important feature of these designs is that they are not designed on a specific theme but according to the mood and creativity of the trio at the moment of making. Therefore, no design is similar to another.

They gave voice to their creativity

We Studio’s founding partners have different experiences in business life. A graduate of Bahçeşehir University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Advertising, İpek Üçbaşaran worked in digital departments of various advertising agencies and worked as a social media manager. İpek Üçbaşaran stated that there is always a desire in her to produce and said, “I used to make and sell beads when I was 2-3 years old. Designing a product from scratch gives me the greatest pleasure possible. I listened to this voice and turned to the design sector.” Banu Kösoğlu, who has worked in the banking, television and fashion sectors, says that her interest in art, especially her curiosity for jewelry design, has been there for many years. İpek Üçbaşaran stated that they enrolled to the Sabancı Olgunlaşma Institute’s 2-year silver jewelry course together with Banu Kösoğlu with the aim of being a part of a design-oriented career in line with a common goal and said, “We met with a master by chance during our trips to Nuruosmaniye, Çemberlitaş, and the Grand Bazaar to purchase silver supplies. This master gave us the opportunity to work at the workbench in his own workshop. Thus, we gained experience in processing gold as well as silver. The course and the Grand Bazaar process went parallel for two years.”

They create unique designs

İsmet Üçbaşaran stated that it is a very interactive pleasure to see that silver-based jewelry designs are used by different individuals and that they have established We Studio jewelry design studio where they can design their own jewelry at the end of their two years of education. The design journey of the duo gains a more corporate identity with the participation of İpek Üçbaşaran’s sister İsmet Üçbaşaran as the third founding partner. İsmet Üçbaşaran is a graduate of Bilgi University, Department of Economics. İsmet Üçbaşaran worked in the import, export, sales-support, and logistics departments of different institutions and joined the team as the third founding partner after the establishment of We Studio. İsmet Üçbaşaran, who is the finance and marketing director of We Studio, is actively involved in the design processes together with Banu Kösoğlu and İpek Üçbaşaran with the vision, gained thanks to their design education. Underlining that they do not want to limit what they can achieve in the design process even though they proceed with different themes, İpek Üçbaşaran said, “We do not proceed with the logic of having a collection for each theme. When we go to the workbench, we prefer to proceed over the feeling that the silver piece gives us according to our mood and whatever comes as an inspiration at the moment. The design process is shaped by this feeling. We can start to create a necklace in mind but end up making a pendant. We are working with silver and brass oriented materials.”

No mass production

Banu Kösoğlu said that the design process requires significant talent and continues: “We do not go to the workbench after having planned anything. Everything is developed in the heat of the moment. We supply raw silver from Nuruosmaniye. One of the designs that are identified with We Studio brand is our ‘göz!’ (eye) motif. Our horoscope necklaces are also appreciated. All of our designs are customized.” İsmet Üçbaşaran stated that the design process is unpredictable. The price of our products varies between 50-500 TL depending on the difficulty of the design, ease, how many grams of silver we use and workmanship. We do not work in mass production. Therefore, each of our designs is extremely unique. Our target audience can request a different version of a model they like through our social media account. Our customers reach us mostly through social media. We conduct the whole communication process ourselves. We come to the workshop every morning at around 10.30 and work late. İpek Üçbaşaran said that it is the greatest motivation for them to see that the We Studio designs are lovingly used by a special modern audience, who enjoys life, in different age groups from 7 to 70, and that they will start organizing jewelry design workshops, consisting of 4 students each, in September.

Designing process from A to Z

We asked the We Studio founding partners how the design process was shaped, and we learned the stages one by one: “Let’s say we want to design a ring. How we proceed through a model or motif without going through the design process is actually shaped in our minds. We begin to process the product according to this figure. We have flat plates. According to the micron thickness of the design, depending on how many microns can the design yield to have, we start to use silver in that micron. We have brass and silver wires. According to the design, we use one of them. Meanwhile, the welding process comes into play. As soon as you hit the silver with fire, that fire can sometimes shape silver in a different way than you imagined. This transforms the design process and takes that product to a different dimension. We cut our plate to the specified ring thickness and then boil. Determine the figure on the top and shape it with a hair saw. We have ring mandrels. What we call a mandrel is a tool to round the ring. With this tool, we shape the ring. We are boiling the pattern on the top. After boiling, the cleaning process begins. First, the ring is sanded. Then, the overflow of the ring edge is cleared. The final step is polishing. In the polishing machine, first the wax polishing of the ring is made and then the shining and washing phase is started. Finally, we re-polish the ring with cotton.”

PHOTOGRAPHER/FERHAT MAKASÇI